Tuloso Midway superintendent on leave, school district in turmoil

Dr. Rick Fernandez, the superintendent for the Tuloso Midway Independent School District, was placed on paid administrative leave on Monday, July 12, 2021 after a school board meeting.

Tuloso Midway Independent School District superintendent Dr. Rick Fernandez.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) sent a letter to Tulos Midway School District stating there is a current investigation on the district due to complaints of board trustee unfair advantages involving a non-district physical education course that was not offered to the remainder of the student body. Those practices have been implemented in previous years where the children of a board trustee, as well as the child of a close family friend, earned Valedictorian ranking.

The only Tuloso Midway board member that has a child or children that have graduated with Valedictorian ranking in Tuloso Midway district in recent years is board member, Stephen Hoelscher.

Tuloso Midway Independent School District board member Stephen Hoelscher

Also, an investigation of 1,200 grade changes in the Fall of 2020 is underway claiming the board members have kept public information confidential. The last complaint investigation is the retaliation against the superintendent for being transparent to the community investigating and providing relevant information to the Texas Education Agency. Multiple agenda items for school board meetings in the past two months that included discussions regarding the duties, the roles, responsibilities, and employment of the superintendent.

During Monday’s school board meeting at Tuloso Midway Administration building, three Hispanic board members walked out of the meeting prior to the vote to put superintendent Dr. Rick Fernandez on paid administrative leave, leaving four Anglo school board members only voting. There was a quorum for the 4-0 vote decision to be made. Note there are 7 voting board members in total.

Confidential sources tell the Crónica that the Texas Education Agencies investigation is purely on the district, and not on Dr. Rick Fernandez himself, leaving a big question on why Fernandez was treated unfairly by being placed on administrative leave.

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